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What would you charge?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by wbruder17, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I am selling fertile hatching eggs for $5 a dozen. If someone wants me to hatch them for them, what would you charge as a hatching fee? I said $1 per chick that hatches. Then add $1 a week for every week I raise them. If I raise them until the are ready to be outside, the price would go up to $10-$15 per bird, depending on the bird (what is looks like, how frien dly it is, etc)

    What do you guys think of this? I don't use an incubator. The eggs would be hatched by good old fashioned "Silkie power"
  2. TaylorHobbyFarms

    TaylorHobbyFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2010
    .50 to $1.00 a chick sounds about right for our area. However, due to the feed bill that could be incurred, I would recommend requesting some sort of deposit up front and require them to pick up within the week unless you are okay with raising the chicks or raising them through "silkie power". [​IMG]
  3. rarely bored

    rarely bored Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2011
    Central California
    Is there a reason why you would charge a hatching fee instead of setting a price on the day old chick? For the New Year's Day hatch I set 24 eggs, had 16 hatch and I quickly sold a dozen chicks to a local family for $2/bird. These were generic barnyard chicks who will be great layers but have very little aesthetic beauty. If I had hung on to the chicks for a month, I would have asked at least $3 each, and if they had stuck around till about 4 months, the roosters would have been sent to freezer camp and the pullets sold at ~$8 each, assuming other generic layers sell for that amount on craigslist (they were a month ago).
    (our local feed stores sell day old chicks for about $2 to $2.50 each, which is were I got my base price.)
  4. Me & Jack

    Me & Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    I would say that if your time is of any value to you don't keep the chicks beyond one week. You will essentially be earning $1-$3 per hour for all of the labor and feed/supplies cost you put into raising chicks until they feather out. Plus, you will lose money because people then will only be likely to want half of what you have available (the pullets) and you'll be stuck trying to give away free roosters, unless you don't mind butchering them for your own table.

    If you are going to hatch chicks for someone then charge $1 per hatched chick, with a $5 non-refundable deposit, and get a signed basic agreement saying that any unclaimed chicks will be sold by the seventh day after hatching notification. Get it in writing and keep track of the birds.

    I have done the hatching service myself and have never -- NEVER -- made a profit or anything close to it. But I have spent countless hours caring for chicks (feeding, watering, cleaning bedding, hauling wheelbarrows full of dirty litter to the compost pile, heat lamps -- in spite of broody hens, electric bills, trips to the feed store), trying to contact people who don't seem too interested in getting back to me in a reasonable time frame, waiting for people to show up to pick up their chicks (who invariably end up being an hour late), and then taking back roosters when urban farmers discover they can't keep them. The amount of time I spent was more costly to me than any money that ever touched my hands, and I'll never get that time back.

    Sound bitter? Don't mean to -- just trying to portray it as realistically as possible.
  5. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Well, I guess first off, it would give me a reason to hatch! I'm not really trying to make a huge profit... and my time as of now is basically all about the chickens anyway....

    The woman who wants me to hatch for her is on BYC, so I tend to trust her a bit more. I know I could sell the babies regardless, so its not such an issue if she bailed.

    I advertised fertile hatching eggs on Craigslist and she responded.... then after emailing, she figured out who I was on BYC. It was actually pretty funny of a coincidence.

    I really enjoy hatching and raising chicks, so the time and effort is enjoyable to me. Sellin the chicks is just a bonus part of my hobby.
  6. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2008
    I would charge a per egg fee, say .50 an egg up front money with the understanding that they would pay $1.00 more per each chick that hatches. There would also be the stipulation that the chicks would need to be picked up within 3 days of hatch that way you are not feeding them so not feed bill. The person would need to know that if the chicks were not picked up within 3 days the price per chick would go to $1.50

    I would candle at ten days and notify the person how many viable eggs they have at that moment. Then when the chicks hatch, notify the person and let them know how many hatched and the amount they will owe, also letting them know again the day they will need to be picked up by.

    Important to get money up front for the incubation fee. Then you get paid also for what hatches. If you were using an incubator it would cost electricity. Your using a broody which I wouldn't do because then you are taking her babies away, which seems mean. She spends all that time and then doesn't get to raise them.

    Now if you are having the broody raise them untill they are old enough to go to their new home, I would just charge a flat per chick fee, because in essence you arn't hatching for the person, you are raising chicks for sale.

    That is how I plan on handling things when I start incubating for others. But I will be doing the incubation in an incubator and the chicks will need to go to their homes within three days.

  7. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I will be adding 2-3 eggs for myself.. that way, Mama will have some to raise. I couldn't take ALL her babies away and feel all right about it.
  8. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2008
    My comment sounded harsh and I didn't mean it too. I wasn't implying you would be mean. I think you will find taking any of her babies will be difficult. I know when my hens raise chicks if one dies they will continue looking for it for days and calling it. Its sad.

  9. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Lanae... it IS a bit heartbreaking, but I take chicks away from my broody hens all the time after they hatch them. I let them raise them for a week or two, but then I want the chicks to be people friendly, so I put Mama back and hand raise the chicks. My hens are a bit distraught at first, but get over it very quickly, just like weaning a horse, or goat off of their mother. It may be "mean" but my chickens are the friendliest I've seen because of how I do it. And Mama and chicks are none the wiser for the experience after all is said and done.
  10. P'Fowls

    P'Fowls Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 2, 2011
    Dahlonega, Ga
    I charge $1.00 for every egg that is fertile. I candle them at 10-12 days and what is forming gets charges for and what isnt forming gets chunked to make more room.I dont charge my customers for the chicks once they hatch. Thats not right. I mean if they buy the eggs from you, thats the same as buys the chicks. My incubator runs all the time anyway, its not like Im just setting it up for them. If I did that I wouldnt make money hatching for people. It cost around $25-50 to run the bator and hatcher each month.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012

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